Gerrard driven to exorcise lasting Euro 2012 demons

ENGLAND captain Steven Gerrard has admitted that he continues to live with the disappointment of the European Championship quarter-final defeat to Italy but believes that his team can learn from the mistakes they have made.

After finally being given the captaincy for which he was overlooked for John Terry in 2006, Gerrard was England’s best performer at an otherwise underwhelming tournament but is adamant that under Roy Hodgson they are ready to develop and focus on the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign that begins away to Moldova tonight.

“You don’t totally get something like Euro 2012 out of your system,” Gerrard said. “It’s what you have to live with, disappointments in football.

“It’s about highs and lows and you are on the back of a low going out of the tournament on a penalty shoot-out. You can’t wait for the next important game to come along and thankfully that is here now and to help ease those feelings of disappointment from the summer, six points would be very nice.

“You’ve got to turn the negatives into a positive. You don’t win every game for club and country, you’ve got to handle setbacks and react to them.

“There are numerous things that the team and the squad need to look at from the summer. There were a lot of positives but negatives as well. With Roy [Hodgson] in charge and the staff, they will be showing us those pros and cons from the summer and we will try and work on where we went wrong.

“We believe if we keep learning and improving and don’t make the mistakes of the summer, then sooner rather than later we can get a big result against one of these big nations which will be the difference between an unsuccessful and successful tournament.”

The inclusion of Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is one of the changes Hodgson has implemented since the summer and one that Gerrard is optimistic about despite it representing a potential change from a midfield in which he was so influential.

“I thought Michael did fantastically well in the last friendly; Michael is a quality player and he shows that week in and week out at Manchester United,” he added. “It is great to have him back available. He certainly makes the team and the squad stronger.”